“Longing for the west”: the geo-symbolics of the ethical consumption discourse in Hungary

Title“Longing for the west”: the geo-symbolics of the ethical consumption discourse in Hungary
Publication TypeBook Chapter
AuthorsDombos, Tamás
EditorsNeve, Geert De, Luetchford Peter, Jeffrey Pratt, and Donald C. Wood
Book TitleHidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility
SeriesResearch in Economic Anthropology
Series Number28
ISBN Number978-1-84855-058-2
Publisher linkhttp://www.emeraldinsight.com/books.htm?chapterid=1761615&show=abstract

Building on an ethnographic study of ethical consumption discourses and practices among activists and entrepreneurs in Hungary this chapter looks at how actors reflect critically on the current state of the Hungarian society by contrasting it to an image of Western Europe as a locus of consumer consciousness, civic activism, and sustainable economic practices. Such an opposition allows for the expression of various hopes, desires, and frustrations about the seemingly never ending process of post-socialist transition and at once provide a chance to mediate the contradictions inherent in contemporary practices of ethical consumption. While ethical consumption might offer itself as a global phenomenon, it is always practiced in local contexts with their particular struggles, histories, and trajectories. This chapter tries to contribute to the literature on ethical consumption by tracing the various meanings and values that are being attached to it in a “newly born consumer society.”